Ban on Eddie Murphy Film Gains Momentum

Oct 11, 2011  •  Post A Comment

More movie theaters are joining a protest against Universal Pictures’ plan to offer video-on-demand for the Eddie Murphy comedy "Tower Heist" while the film is still playing in theaters, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.

A number of independent movie theater chains including Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Galaxy Theatres, Regency Theatres in Calabasas, Calif., and Emagine Theatres of Detroit said they’ll ban the film from their movie houses if Universal proceeds with the VOD plan, the story notes.

“This is virtually a simultaneous release that we don’t think will be helpful to anyone. We’re standing on principle that it’s best to preserve the theatrical window," said Rafe Cohen, president of Galaxy Theatres, which operates 106 screens in states including California and Texas.

Universal plans to make "Tower Heist" available via VOD to 500,000 homes in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., for $59.99, just three weeks after the film opens. Cinemark USA, the third-largest theater chain, said last week it won’t show the film on its 3,800 screens unless Universal cancels its plan.


  1. And who would pay 60 bucks to see this s__t?

  2. Hmmmnnn … it seems as if Universal is beginning to make the same stupid decisions as it’s little sister, NBC. So it’s true, the village idiot is out and about.

  3. Let’s be honest — I’m not willing to pay $60 for a one-time screening of ANY movie in my house, even if it were the next Harry Potter or Star Wars. If it costs $11 to see the movie in the theaters, that’s what they should be charging to watch the movie at home.

  4. The three thoughts above are harmonious with my own, and I will go even further to say…Go ahead make your bad decision and let the Market do what it will…that will end all speculation about the unknown potentials, (or not).
    Peter Bright

  5. For $60 Eddie Murphy had better come to my place and make me popcorn. I don’t honestly see many people laying out that kind of money for a movie in this economy.

  6. $59.99?
    To sit in my livingroom,
    watching an Eddie Murphy movie?
    Bwahahahahahaaa!!! (I think I just peed a little)

  7. The cost issue pretty much shows idiocy on ALL sides. Why are theater owners getting upset at this proposal? Do they actually know people stupid enough to pay $60 to see an Eddie Murphy movie? If not, what the hell do they care what Universal does?
    They’re only barring themselves against that slim sliver of the populace that’d actually still pay 11 bucks a bomb!

  8. When did Reed Hastings take over Universal?

  9. When did Reed Hastings take over as head of Universal?

  10. Anyone that will actually spend $60 for any movie, let alone an Eddie Murphy movie, is a complete fool. But the theater backlash is a short term protest versus a long term slap in the wallet to these theaters. What happens when Universal drops the rate to $30 or even lower? Protest now to let the industry know that if they continue the practice, they will lose distribution nationwide. But Universal or any other movie company has to test new ideas to sell some of these movies. Starting with this move is just the beginning but another example of the potential end to the movie theater business.

  11. I feel bad for Eddie Murphy. He’s just trying to have a hit where he isn’t an animated donkey, and his little movie gets caught up in these bad business moves.
    If I were him, I’d be yelling at the execs to leave Tower Heist alone and use some other release as their guinea pig.

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